You can see it in his eyes. The passion…the desire…the intense hunger to possess the golden treasure. The moment of a lifetime has finally come. All the tests have been passed and now the reward is within his grasp. Nothing can stop him now.
Accept maybe the consequences that await from lifting that little golden head off its intended resting place. You just knew that little bag of sand was not going to work.
In the next few moments, Indiana Jones would face a collapsing cave roof, poison darts, spears thrust from the cave walls (which did skewer his traveling companion), a giant rolling boulder, natives with spears and more blow darts before he barely escapes with his life. The worst part is he didn’t even get to keep the treasure, having to turn it over to his treasure-seeking arch rival. Sure does seem like something bad happens when we try to attain something that we are not supposed to have.
Ever heard it said that the eyes are the window to the soul?
Of all our senses I believe we are most enticed by what we see. We see people with power…we want that. We see wealth…we want that. We see people take shortcuts to get ahead…we try that. We see beauty…we pursue that. We see fame…we crave that (even if just for 15 minutes). In this regard, our eyes help reveal what we value. They see things in the world and our resulting actions reveal our character. And incidentally, this issue is WAY more challenging for men because of how God made us wired. We are far more visually oriented than our female counterparts.
In Joshua 7, Israel has just been dealt a confidence-shaking blow through a military defeat at the small city of Ai. In the aftermath of the defeat, God reveals to Joshua their defeat happened because there was sin in the camp. With God’s assistance, they trace this sin to the household of Achan. When confronted by Joshua, Achan answered him by saying, “Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I have done: When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.’”
Achan had taken these items from the rubble of the once mighty city of Jericho Israel had just defeated. This action was a problem because in Joshua 6:18-19 the people had been explicitly instructed not to take any of the accursed things once they had conquered the city. All of the silver, gold and other precious items were to be consecrated to the Lord. Seems like a fairly straightforward command to me.
But herein lies the power of our eyes. Achan was enticed by something he saw that glittered. Notice the progression that led to his sin:
1. He looked (and probably looked again)
2. He processed (they were “beautiful”)
3. He desired (“I coveted them”)
4. He acted (he “took them”)
5. He kept it secret (no one in Israel knew he had done this thing)
The draw of these items was too much for Achan, even though he knew God’s instructions. Unfortunately for him, and his family, the consequence for taking these accursed things was death (see Joshua 7:22-25).
Some things in our world are beautiful and God has placed them there for our benefit and enjoyment. But other things, he warns us against (and even commands us to avoid) because He knows the consequences will be physically and spiritually fatal.
God, give us the wisdom to know the difference and the strength to resist the lure of the gold we should not pursue.
How have you been enticed away from God by the pull of riches?
Next Post: “Hey Jesus, You Hungry?”
Prior Post: Surety: How to Get Out of a Cosigned Loan